Author Chat with Julie Hedlund (Over Bear, Under Where?), plus Giveaway! ~US Only


Today we are chatting with Julie Hedlund, author of

Over Bear, Under Where?!

Read on for more about Julie, her book, and a giveaway!



Meet Julie Hedlund!

Julie Hedlund author photo photo credit Kim Huggins

Author Bio: Julie Hedlund ( Julie Hedlund is an award-winning children's picture book author who spends much of her time inside her own imagination. When she is not writing or reading, she enjoys playing in the mountains near her home in Boulder, CO. She lives with her two teenage children and their high-maintenance hound dog. You can follow Julie on Twitter @juliefhedlund.

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About: Over Bear, Under Where?

Over Bear Under Where cover

A hilariously clever story of wordplay and unexpected friendship, perfect for fans of 7 Ate 9 and Eats, Shoots, and Leaves.

     Over and Under are two friends, and they're enjoying a day at the park. They go on the swings (Over goes over Under) and the seesaw (Under is under Over). They meet a hot-dog dog (who joins them for a hot dog). And then they spot . . . a bear! (Unbearable!) But is he really the overall scary creature they first understand him to be?

     In this hilariously punny story that will have readers laughing out loud as they pick apart the wordplay, a pair of pals overcome their fears as they discover that friendship underpins all.

Pre-Order Here




~Author Chat with Julie Hedlund~


What gave you the inspiration to write this book?

My answer is probably going to flag me as a nerd of the highest order, but I love wordplay to such a degree that it’s a bit of an obsession. One day, I started thinking about the words over and under, not just in spatial/prepositional terms, but as characters. I wondered how their names would bump up against their spatial positions, but also how their dialogue could result in many split compound words. I started playing with these concepts mostly to amuse myself, but eventually I realized I had the makings of a pretty funny (punny) story.


Who is your favorite character in the book?

Bear is, of course, the emotional heart of the story, but I am partial to Hot-Dog Dog. He enters the scene and gets wrapped up in this entire drama that he didn’t ask for or contribute to, which amplifies the humor. But he also becomes integral to the resolution and cementing of new friendships. Not bad for a character who thought he was just passing through!


What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?

It was challenging for me to show, in the narrative, that Bear wanted to play with Over and Under, not to hurt them. I am particularly proud that I found a way in the scene where Bear is running behind the friends (seemingly stalking them), but then moves between, and then ahead of them (they’re looking at Bear’s behind). Obviously that behavior doesn’t match the friends’ assumptions. Why would the Bear pass them if she had planned to attack them?


Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?

I’ve learned to trust myself and my creative instincts (impulses?) more. In the beginning, I spent so much time agonizing about whether an idea really had legs, when a draft was ready for submission, and where I could break the “rules” of writing or not. In other words, I doused my own creative sparks before they had a chance to burn. Now I am a lot more willing to play with ideas and drafts longer in order to see if they fit me and if I can find a way to make them special. It’s important, I think, to keep the joy of discovery and play into your creative process.


What do you like most about the cover of the book?

The placement of the text, UNDER, WHERE? right on Bear’s bottom! Illustrator Michael Slack perfectly underscored the humor and wordplay of the book in the cover.


What was your favorite book in 2020?

           One of my favorite picture book releases in 2020 was DOWN UNDER THE PIER, by Nell Cross Beckerman and illustrated by Rachell Sumpter. You can smell the salt water, feel the waves tickle your feet, the breeze on your face and the sand squeezing between your toes. It was a perfect antidote to being stuck at home during the pandemic, and it captures the glory of children relishing activities that seem simple but really are magic.


What’s up next for you?

            I recently sold a picture book biography, which I am VERY excited about. It hasn’t been announced yet though, so I can’t say anything else. I also have a few manuscripts that are getting close to going on submission. Oh, and I’m working on a companion book to OVER, BEAR! UNDER, WHERE? Who knows if it will go anywhere, but it’s fun to play in this world again.



Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?

           Revising for SURE. I love puzzles, and revision feels more to me like trying to find the right pieces to flesh out the whole. The irony, of course, is that you need a draft in order to revise. It’s more difficult for me to turn off my 

           inner editor at the drafting stage, but I’m working on it!


What would you say is your superpower?

           Hmm… Before I got into publishing, I would have said my superpower was absolutely NOT patience. But this business requires so much of it, especially in pandemic times. I’ve had to strengthen those muscles, so maybe soon I will be able to call it a superpower. I do believe that everything ends up happening at the right time. That’s the Zen I’ve tried to reach.




Over Bear Under Where cover

Author/Illustrator: Julie Hedlund; illustrated by Michael Slack

Publisher: Philomel, Penguin Young Readers

Release Date: November 9, 2021

Genre: Picture Book

Age Range: 4-8





Three winners will receive a copy of Over Bear, Under Where? (Julie Hedlund) ~ US Only

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Comments 2

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Zachary Snyder on Wednesday, 03 November 2021 21:57

This book looks great! My twins would love it!

This book looks great! My twins would love it!
Danielle Hammelef on Friday, 26 November 2021 13:50

The cover is super cute and this book sounds book hilarious and educational.

The cover is super cute and this book sounds book hilarious and educational.